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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lichen Sclerosus Is Associated With Other Autoimmune Diseases.

Lichen sclerosus is a chronic condition that will cause itching, burning, skin changes and eventually changes to your vulvar anatomy. It now has been linked to various autoimmune disorders, including thyroid disease, vitiligo, alopecia areata (hair loss), pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency), and diabetes mellitus.  It may make you more susceptible to yeast or bacterial infections, but discharge is not usually a common symptom from this condition alone. Women of any age can get this, cases as young as girls prior to puberty have been reported. Lichen Sclerosus may have a genetic component, or it may be linked or at least worsened by low estrogen, it's not thought to be caused by infection. Looking at the conditions of the external tissues a physician cannot always make an accurate diagnosis, but the tissue has characteristic thin white paper look that has been called "cigarette paper" look. So the most accurate way to diagnoses is a biopsy
Severe Lichen Sclerosus with Ulceration
without a biopsy.If there is a condition that presents itself and then clears up with treatment, that may be a situation that wouldn't need a biopsy. But conditions that do not clear up with treatment especially are good cases for a biopsy. One sign physicians look for is how the condition affects you external anatomy. For certain patients, over years of the condition, the nature of your lichen sclerosus will change. Severe changes in the anatomy will occur. The changes occur because of the thinning and scarring of the tissues, and a tendency to change the anatomy of the external vaginal and vulvar tissues by forming bridges between the lips and scaring. Over time there can even be obscuring of the clitoris or covering over the urethra where you urinate. This can be called a hooded clitoris and the tissue changes can interfere with orgasm as well. This is most often due to lichen sclerosus which is pictured above, and really is a very severe case, most are not this severe. Without treatment these anatomy changes will both persist and progress. So if you are noticing skin changes that seem to be persisting, please see your gyno and get an accurate diagnosis to prevent long term complications of this condition. You may think you have yeast or bladder infection, but it is really this condition. The treatments are usually very potent steroids that should be managed by a gyno. You cannot be cured, but the discomfort and dis-figuration can be managed. And now that we know of the links with other autoimmune diseases, diagnosing them properly and getting appropriate treatment may in fact may also help the lichens to be resolved.

4 comments:

  1. I was diagnosed with LS after being misdiagnosed for over 3 years. I have been prescribed potent steroid creams, anti-itch creams, steroid pills, birth control and more and yet.... no relief. My vagina has become what I would assume to be permanently disfigured, sex is no longer enjoyable or possible, and I am completely miserable. The pain/ burning is so intense that I lay in bed screaming wishing I would just die. I have seen 4 different docs and they have all sais that I have the most severe case they have ever seen. I am only 29 and my symptoms only began after having my tubal ligation. Would a tubal ligation reversal alleviate any of my symptoms? Is it possible that my TL is the cause of this horrible disease? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel or am I doomed to live with this hell forever?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to know the same!! I am 41 and have just been diagnosed with this 2 years after my TL. There's a great Yahoo group for LS that I suggest joining as I have as there's just reams of information you can read over about LS - my name is Clare on there if you wish to talk privately.

      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LichenSclerosis/info

      Delete
  2. Free treatment for those who qualify for this research project for the treatment of Lichen Sclerosus. Go to this website: www.LichenSclerosusTreatment.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tubal ligation reversal has not been linked to improvement in lichen sclerosus in any studies I am aware of. Nor can I think of a plausible biologic reason that would make me believe tubal ligation reversal would improve lichen sclerosus either. We have been able to successfully use some new therapies. Laser treatments have helped women with a variety of vulvar and vaginal conditions and are worth considering as well.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments and questions. This blog is not intended to replace medical care, but is informational only. We hope you will become a follower or visit Womens Health Practice. We offer a variety of unique services including MonaLisa Touch, Coolsculpting, Labiaplasty, and Gynecoloigic Clinical Research Trials. For more information on menopause see http://www.amazon.com/Menopause-Make-Peace-Change

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